Saturday, March 20, 2010

Creamy One-Pot Pasta

This is another Pampered Chef recipe. I made it at a lot of my shows and it always got rave reviews. It is very versatile, so you can add and take out whatever you don't like. As always, I have modified this recipe to my preferences! The recipe makes 6-8 servings.

4 garlic cloves, pressed
1 jar (7 oz) sun-dried tomatoes in oil, undrained
3 cans (14.5 oz each) chicken broth
1 lb uncooked penne pasta
2 cups broccoli (fresh or frozen)
2 medium carrots, julienned OR 2 handfuls of matchstix carrots
8 oz cream cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Grated fresh Parmesan cheese
dried basil leaves (optional)
1. Pour 1 Tbsp of the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes into an 8-qt stock pot. Add garlic. Cook over medium heat 2-3 minutes or until garlic is golden brown, stirring occassionally.

2. Remove from heat; add broth. Return to burner; increase heat to high. Cover and bring to a boil. Add pasta; cover and simmer vigorously 8-10 minutes or until pasta is almost cooked but still firm, stirring occassionally.

3. While pasta is cooking, put broccoli and carrots in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 2 minutes. This starts the cooking process so that they vegetables are not crunchy. Drain the sun-dried tomatoes; pat dry and add to bowl with cooked broccoli and carrots. Here's a picture of the carrots and tomatoes that I buy. If you don't buy julienne cut tomatoes, you will need to slice them into thin strips.

4. Cut cream cheese into cubes. Add vegetables, cream cheese, salt and pepper to pasta. If you want a little spice, throw in some cayenne pepper, too! Stir until cream cheese is melted and fully incorporated.

5. Reduce heat to medium; cover and cook an additional 2-4 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Top with Parmesan cheese and basil, if desired.

6. For a heartier version of this recipe, you can add grilled turkey, Italian sausage or sliced grilled chicken breasts to pasta.

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